For many of us, our lives don’t work out the way we planned. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a plan. It’s very apropos that Lost’s “Dr. Linus” episode was named for a teacher since it taught us some very valuable lessons about who we are and what our purpose here may be. In other words, it really was all about you.
Whereas “Lighthouse” was all about our enlightenment, “Sundown” explored our dark side—temptation. “I can see her lying back in her satin dress in a room where you do what you don’t confess,” sang Gordon Lightfoot in his 1974 hit “Sundown.” The song is all about succumbing to temptation, hence once again revealing the double entendre that the Lost writers are so fond of using in their episode titles. When the sun goes down, man gets tempted by the dark. Why a “satin” dress? Sounds like Satan, don’t it?
You’ve probably noticed that in every flash-sideways so far on Lost this season, the central character of the episode has been shown looking into a mirror. Kate looks at herself in the auto body restroom after discovering that Claire was pregnant, Locke in his own bathroom just before attempting to call Jack, and Jack looks at himself both in the airplane while noticing the strange mark on his neck, and again in “The Lighthouse” when noticing an appendix scar that he doesn’t seem to remember. The easy metaphor of course, is that we are looking at secondary versions of these characters through the looking glass. But what’s the deeper meaning for us?
Lost episode 6.4, “The Substitute,” has so many parallels with Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory , I am convinced that the movie can be used to reveal Lost’s endgame. While I’m sure those parallels also exist within the actual Charlie and the Chocolate Factory book, since I am more familiar with the 1971 Gene Wilder movie (having seen it dozens of times), I will make my comparisons there. Sure, this may turn out to be nothing more than stuff and nonsense, but in the words of Wonka, “a little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.” So, let’s get to it because we have so much time and so little to do. Strike that…reverse it.
Have you ever met someone for the first time who seemed really familiar to you? Strangely, this person likely wound up being an important player in your life. This exact scenario happens to Jack in LA X when he recognizes Desmond on the plane. In What Kate Does, Kate’s parallel life is once again setting up the scene for her to have a connection with Claire and baby Aaron. What if the reason for this familiarity is because we are recognizing these people from our future, or from the story of our destiny?
As soon as I learned of the title of Lost’s Season 6 premiere episode last year, I immediately began to wonder about its implications. Sure, the LA X was a reference to LAX, the abbreviation for Los Angeles International Airport where Oceanic Flight 815 was suppose to land, but why was there a space between the “LA” and the “X”? Like everything on Lost, surely this play on letters was for a reason.
A bizarre airplane crash, mysterious whispers, a foreboding set of numbers, a strange group of outsiders who seem to know what’s going on, and a shiny black stone which hints at clues to a resolution. While these themes could apply to Lost, all of them are also featured in Knowing—the recent sci-fi movie with Nicholas Cage that comes out on DVD on Tuesday, July 7th.
Just as how the Others blindly follow Jacob, we Lost fans have invested five years of our lives blindly following a TV show that has become increasingly intricate. Will our commitment be worth it in the end? Those of us who have faith have stuck with it, but we’ve lost a lot of former believers along the way. What if the series finale is a disappointment and leaves many of the major questions unanswered? Will we question our blind faith in a show that we hoped would give us answers to its convoluted storyline, and beyond? Hopefully we won’t get to that point, but I have some thoughts just in case we do.
Have you ever wondered what would happen if you could go back to a particular moment of your life and do something differently? What if you hadn’t taken a job you’d accepted, married someone you’d broken up with, said “no” when you’d previously said yes…or vice-versa? What if we were all allowed one do-over? Would your life be completely different than it is now, or would events have conspired to put you in pretty much the same place? By continuing to explore the concept of the variable, “Follow the Leader” brings up these very same questions, and if you’ve been paying attention, it’s already given us the answers.
At the end of my last column, I asked whether the “variable” would prove to be an event that could change everything. The one thing that could have a domino effect on the outcomes of every event that followed. I wondered if this changeable event is what Ben and Widmore have been fighting for control of. After watching “The Variable,” I have to say “yes,” this is what the term is referring to. However, I’m still not so sure whether the variable will actually vary anything according to the mythology of the show.